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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sorry about that

[Update:  A huge shout out / thank you to Naomi Ragen who shared my 'cab ride' post with her mailing list.  'Chuffed' doesn't begin to describe the feeling!]

You'll have to excuse yesterday's screed.  I'm not apologizing for the content, mind you... just for your having seen it.

That was a perfect example of the kind of post I usually delete immediately after I finish writing it.  In fact, I was pretty sure I'd done just that... until I happened to glance at the site around mid-afternoon, that is.

My bad.

You have to understand that, for me, this blogging/journaling thing is half exhibitionism, half creative outlet and half therapy couch (... and also, in the words of 'The Sneeze'; "half not good with fractions").

Yesterday's post was mostly about therapy. 

I didn't write it to change anyone's mind or to try to put new information in front of anyone.  I didn't say anything that hasn't been said a thousand times before (and by far more persuasive writers). 

But when I woke up yesterday and saw the combined news of the latest prisoner release and the fact that PA policemen had been behind the latest terror attack... well, I kinda lost my mind and needed to log some serious time on the treppenwitz couch.  Yesterday's post was the result.

Let's just try to pretend nothing happened and speak no more of this little incident, mmmkay?

In the mean time, I'd like to wish those who will be lighting the first candle tonight Chag Urim Sameach (happy Hanukkah)!

Warm Regards,

The Management

"Laying the groundwork for an insanity defense since 1961"

Posted by David Bogner on December 4, 2007 | Permalink

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I don't understand why you're apologizing....

Posted by: Karl Newman | Dec 4, 2007 9:48:27 AM

Neither do I...

Posted by: Yaakov | Dec 4, 2007 9:53:03 AM

Karl Newman & Yaakov... I've mentioned a number of times that I consider this site to be roughly analogous to an open door dinner party with a very diverse group of guest. Just as I have a right to expect/demand a certain level of decorum from my guests, they have a right to expect the host to set the proper tone. Being right is never an acceptable excuse for bad behavior in someone's home. It is also not a reasonable excuse for making one's guests feel uncomfortable or out of place.

When a post sits up on the site for an entire day and gets only one comment and no links... that, my friend, is the blogging equivalent of an awkward silence following a rude outburst at a dinner party.

True, I don't exactly stick to the standard polite company rule of 'no religion or politics' at my dinner parties, but I also don't feel it's right to bludgeon anyone with those topics either.

In an effort to combat the boorishness that often springs form Internet anonymity, I have tried to maintain the following rule of thumb here at treppenwitz:

'If you wouldn't feel comfortable standing up and saying something in a friend's crowded living-room amongst a group of relative strangers... you shouldn't say it here. I try to hold myself to this standard. When I fail... I offer an apology to the assembled 'guests'.

Clear enough?

Posted by: treppenwitz | Dec 4, 2007 9:57:32 AM

Extending your dinner-party analogy.... I wouldn't want anyone at my table who didn't sincerely care about me and my family's welfare. Or who couldn't accept a sincerely spoken, non-ad-hominem expression of deeply felt emotion/opinion.

So: anyone who took offense at the previous post should move on. You should not worry about such people's feelings. This is your "dinner party" after all, a very personal forum.

It's quite telling that you are frustrated with lefties who still spout unrealistic notions, yet you feel constrained in your ability to call things as you see it.

How do you expect change to occur?

You have a track record for being a reasonable observer of the Israeli scene. If someone like you expresses strong disagreement with the pipe dreams of peace - that's how minds are changed.

Posted by: Ben-David | Dec 4, 2007 10:12:44 AM

Ben-David... Whoa! If you, of all people, are calling me "...a reasonable observer of the Israeli scene", I need to check outside to see of pigs are flying by my window! :-)

But seriously, I don't know about you... but I go out of my way to see that my 'dinner parties' (real and virtual) are populated by reasonable people who can learn from one another. I don't go in for preaching to the choir, and I certainly can't abide a boring, homogeneous gathering.

A good indicator that you've invited too narrow a group to your party is if you don't feel the need to look around before telling a religious, political or 'off color' joke.

True, it requires a bit more restraint to keep from offending or stepping on toes... but at the end of the evening your guests(hopefully) go home with an improved opinion of people they previously thought of as zealots, heathens, idiots, defeatists, war-mongers, etc. The ideal dinner party isn't about changing anyone's mind... it should be (IMHO) about broadening people's horizons.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Dec 4, 2007 10:27:50 AM

David,

Maybe it's just me, Mr. Bluntness, but I didn't find your comments to be over the top nor did I consider your tone to be out of line. Speaking for myself, I didn't comment on the post because 1) it's an Israeli issue and because I'm neither Israeli nor Jewish, I have to be careful about what I say in those matters and 2) you managed to cover all the bases and there was nothing for me to add.

A little time up on the soapbox is good for the soul.

Posted by: Karl Newman | Dec 4, 2007 11:04:32 AM

Perhaps we, your readers, owe you an apology. We are quick to chime in when we disagree, or when a post touches us in a special way, but we don't always jump in and cheer when we agree with one of your "rants". Please realize that some of us are applauding in the privacy of our own home when you have the courage to post things that need to be said. (OK, so it's rather presumptous for me to comment on anyone elses behalf, but I'll choose to believe that someone agrees with me)

Chag Sameach!

Posted by: Rachel | Dec 4, 2007 12:16:14 PM

This guest says "Right on," David. I didn't see your post till now, and in my mind you have nothing to be sorry about.

I'd like to add Jeremiah 7:31 to your source list: "And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the sons of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I commanded not, neither came it into my mind."

Posted by: Rahel | Dec 4, 2007 12:34:29 PM

...and sometimes people don't post because they're on vacation, they have company arriving for the holiday, their kids are sick, or (ditto above comment) they agree and don't see a need to reiterate what you said so eloquently.

Be yourself. Don't feel folks were upset--if they were, they'd post it.

Posted by: aliyah06 | Dec 4, 2007 4:46:54 PM

Don't apologize!! People need to be reminded fo the truth.

Posted by: Mike | Dec 4, 2007 5:39:53 PM

When a post sits up on the site for an entire day and gets only one comment and no links... that, my friend, is the blogging equivalent of an awkward silence following a rude outburst at a dinner party.

Your blog happens to be different from quite a few in that you tend to receive buckets of comments, but I can remember more than one post that didn't receive much more than one or two.

I don't recall those being offensive or anything strange. Sometimes people don't say anything because they feel that they do not have anything to add to the discussion.

Posted by: Jack | Dec 4, 2007 5:43:09 PM

I agree with the others. I didn't see anything that merited an apology.

There are very few bloggers who haven't at one time or another posted their true, unedited emotions on something. The ability to share those emotions is one of the beauties of the blogosphere.

Posted by: orieyenta | Dec 4, 2007 5:49:49 PM

beauties of the blogosphere

Every time I come up with a new contest to run someone spoils it. Well, now that the cats out of the bag...

Posted by: Jack | Dec 4, 2007 7:42:32 PM

A non-rant comment?
You might have added:
- the army withheld the news of the arrests on the first day of the Annapolis summit until the following week
- we prop our "peace partner" with the release of terrorist accomplices; why not a new factory that would create jobs, a new school?

Posted by: zalman | Dec 4, 2007 8:29:42 PM

I agree with all the commenters--I often don't comment if I don't have anything to add to the discussion that has not been said or isn't somewhat intelligent. If we disagreed or were offended we'd say something. So its okay to just get a couple of comments, Dave (every now and then). Really its okay....

More importantly--when will the doll be delivered to the winner. I'm hoping to get it before Chanukah is over ;) .

Posted by: Baila | Dec 4, 2007 8:52:43 PM

Yeah... what's up with that doll?? Who won it, anyway?

p.s. - Don't apologize! Your post was fine.

Posted by: Chantyshira | Dec 4, 2007 11:43:53 PM

I don't get it. What are you apologizing for?
And I, like Chantyshira, would like to know who won the doll.

Posted by: QuietusLeo | Dec 6, 2007 5:34:50 AM

Karl Newman... Did you ever notice that when the screechers finally get down off the soapboxes that there aren't a lot of people waiting to pal around with them? :-)

Rachel... Trust me, I wasn't being critical of you guys for not commenting. I have the best co0mmenters in the blogging world and have absolutely no complaints in that department. I'm just saying that sometimes even I go too far and people sit out there in shocked silence (as well they should).

Rahel... Even better. Thanks for sharing that one.

aliyah06... Really... It's OK. I wasn't being critical of people for not commenting. I promise! :-)

Mike... Um, that might be true. But to belabor the dinner party analogy again, would you turn to a stranger at a dinner party and start ranting about about 'those people' who are ruining the country? I didn't think so. :-)

Jack... OK, but the basic premise stands. People generally comment unless the post doesn't resonate with them... or unless it makes them uncomfortable. That's my experience, anyway.

zalman... Yeah, so I guess the army is now in the etrog coddling business too. :-)

Baila, Chantyshira, QuietusLeo... The judges are still deliberating (meaning I've been too busy to pick a name out of the hat). Patience. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Dec 6, 2007 11:28:24 AM

Your post was excellent and does not need an apology.

Apropos of your closing quote on swords plowshares, remember that what we recite is Hashem oz le-amo yiten, Hashem yivorach es-amo ba-shalom.

Oz comes first, then shalom. Without oz there will be no shalom.

Chag sameach.

Posted by: Gandalin | Dec 10, 2007 10:57:11 PM

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